RACINE — It’s a new age at Chuck E. Cheese.
The kid-focused arcade restaurant chain has revamped its pizza to be more adult-friendly, expanded its salad bar and fruit choices, has a redesigned slimmer rodent-mascot (still named Charles Entertainment Cheese; yes, that is his full name), and fired the occasionally creepy animatronic band.
Tokens are out too. Instead of purchasing games per token, kids now get unlimited play using play passes that are paid for by the half-hour, starting at $10 for 30 minutes.
Music is still central to entertainment at the restaurant, even if the robotic music group (named Munch’s Make Believe Band) is gone. There is now a light-up, interactive dance floor that automatically reacts to dancers’ feet. A costumed Chuck E. Cheese is expected to make appearances every hour on the floor.
Racine’s Chuck E. Cheese, 5612 Durand Ave., is one of the first 500 locations to get the “new look and feel,” the company said. There are more than 600 Chuck E. Cheese locations total worldwide.
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“It’s nothing like the Chuck E. Cheese you and I went to growing up!” a press release stated.
The restaurant has been open throughout remodeling, but a celebration in honor of the remodeling is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday.
Free slices of cake and a chance to win a $100 gift card are available to anyone who attends.
Staying up to date
This isn’t the first time Chuck E. Cheese has tried to rebrand in the last decade. In 2012, the titular mouse was redesigned to get a more rock-and-roll look. His voice actor was also changed to Jaret Reddick, the lead singer of the band Bowling for Soup — known for hits like “1985” and the “Phineas and Ferb” theme song.
The business was founded in 1977 by Nolan Bushnell, the same man who founded Atari.